For over 30 years, Kent has been at the forefront of developing film
as an academic subject. Our expertise means that you have a wide choice
of areas to explore.
As a student, you become part of the community based within the
School of Arts building – a creative hub for students of film, drama,
media studies and art history.
Our degree programme
Our degree is flexible: you study film theory but you also have the
option to explore film practice – for example, through developing the
skills of a film critic or getting involved in creative film production.
In the first year, you cover the language of film (framing, sound,
editing, performance, lighting), learn about the theory and the history
of film, and can take a practical filmmaking module.
In your second and final years, you have a huge range of modules to
choose from, covering everything from avant-garde to animation, with a
variety of practice modules too, including screenwriting and documentary film.
It is possible to take this degree with a placement year and gain valuable work experience. For details, see Film with a Placement Year.
You have the option to combine this degree with a year of working or studying abroad. For details, see Film with a Year Abroad.
Facilities to support film theory include:
our own cinema, which screens ten to 15 films a week8,000 DVDs and videos in the library individual and group viewing facilities in the library an extensive collection of books and journals, including online resources.
Our film production facilities are industry-standard and include the following:
soundproofed production studio with projection, chroma-key green screen and black serge cycloramas extensive lighting grid sound-dubbing studioindividual edit suites equipped with Final Cut Pro digital studio with post-production software.
The School of Arts puts on many special events, which you are welcome to attend. In previous years, these have included symposia, seminars,
conferences and exhibitions, as well as visits by filmmakers and
You also have the chance to take part in film-related student societies.
The Film Society at Kent is run by students and gives you a
chance to get involved in film production, film journalism, educational
activities and a film festival. Kent Media Centre, run by student volunteers, produces KTV
(Kent Television) – a TV station dedicated to student news and events
For trips to the cinema, we have the Gulbenkian Cinema on campus,
which screens arthouse, independent, foreign language and blockbuster
films. In Canterbury city centre, there is also the Curzon arts cinema
and an Odeon.
Film students become part of a wide professional network, thanks to our excellent links with other film bodies. These include:
Arts Council England British Film Institute (BFI) Independent Cinema Office Screen Archive South East Kent Film.
All modules involve lectures, small group seminars and film screenings (where relevant). On average, you have two lectures and three hours of seminars each week, plus four to six hours film viewing.
Depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays or dissertation), to a combination of examination and coursework.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the different genres and the diversity of film forms
- the historical evolution of particular genres, aesthetic traditions and film forms
- the ways in which critical and cultural theories and concepts have developed within particular contexts
- the cultural and social contexts which affect the meaning of film works
- aesthetic judgement
- conceptualisations of pleasure and identification in film
- narrative processes in film
- modes of representation at work in film
- film conventions
- the ways in which different social groups may relate to, engage with and interact with film works.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- engage critically with major thinkers, debates, intellectual paradigms, and scholarly literature within the field
- understand forms of film as they have emerged historically
- examine the historical, social and cultural contexts of such forms
- analyse closely, interpret, and undertake critical evaluation
- critically reflect upon your own work
- carry out various forms of research for essays, projects, creative productions or dissertations involving sustained independent enquiry
- formulate apposite research questions and employ appropriate methods and resources to explore them
- evaluate and draw upon the range of sources and the conceptual frameworks appropriate to research in a chosen area
- draw and reflect upon the relevance and impact of your own cultural assumptions to the practice of research.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- analysing and interpreting sounds and images in time and space
- understanding and knowledge of narrative and stylistic forms and structures in film and television
- bringing together ideas from various sources of knowledge and different academic disciplines
- articulating understanding of visual and oral media in a written medium
- effectively deploying terms and concepts specific to the study of film and television
- where practice modules are undertaken: producing work which demonstrates the effective manipulation of sound, image, performance and, where appropriate, the written word
- utilising effectively relevant technical concepts and theories
- producing work showing competence in the operational skills of screen production and post-production technologies
- initiating, developing and realising distinctive and creative work through group collaboration
- managing time, personnel and resources effectively
- demonstrating an understanding of communicative strategies specific to film
- producing work informed by, and contextualised within, relevant theoretical debates you have studied within the programme as a whole.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- working in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, including time-management and self-direction, sustaining focus and applying attention to detail
- organising and managing supervised, self-directed projects and researching and evaluating sources in the process of carrying out independent study
- communicating effectively and appropriately orally and in writing and, where undertaken, in other media
- identifying issues and questions and gathering, organising and deploying knowledge and ideas to formulate cogent analysis and arguments, making subtle and discriminating comparisons and applying interpretive skills in diverse situations and contexts
- working productively in a group, and displaying an ability, at different times to listen, contribute and lead effectively
- showing insight in, and understanding of, the social and ethical issues surrounding contemporary communications, media, culture and society
- information technology, such as word-processing, using the internet and, where undertaken, digital technology in relation to practice.
The programme aims to:
- produce graduates with an informed, critical, analytical and creative approach to understanding film as cultural and aesthetic expressive media
- develop students' creative, intellectual, analytical and research skills
- develop existing and new areas of teaching in response to the advance of research and scholarship within the subject as well as new developments in film
- widen participation in higher education among a diverse body of students
- develop students' knowledge and skills in film studies
- encourage students' critical, analytical and creative skills in relation to film study and, where undertaken, in relation to screen production
- develop students' ability to think independently and flexibly
- enhance awareness of, and sensitivity to, the contexts of production and consumption of film
- develop students' interpersonal skills and interaction and their reflexiveness in individual and group work.